Information and Communication Technology
The world economy is moving from a predominantly industrial society to a new Information Society, and is becoming ever more information-based. It is, therefore, crucial for competitiveness and success in business to improve the systems used to access and distribute information and the technologies that drive them.
New Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) applications, such as mobile communications, personal computers, car navigation systems and so on, are also radically changing the way individuals work and enjoy their leisure time. The success of the new economy will depend on consumers' ability to take full advantage of the opportunities they offer.
The promise of the new technologies is real. However, ICT applications will not reach their full potential unless they and their supporting infrastructures are fully interoperable. This is the role of standards. Standards are technical specifications that support the development of open and competitive markets for the benefit of both consumers and industry.
The effectiveness of the Information Society is determined by the ability of the component parts to "talk" to each other, or to interoperate. Without the interoperability aspect, the use of ICT products and services will be restricted, and consequently an opportunity will be lost, with negative economic and social consequences for all.
CENELEC has several technical bodies active in the ICT field that deliver standards to enhance product and service quality. A few examples are the following:
- CATV: (cabled distribution systems) performed by CLC/TC 209 which led to the EN 50083 series (currently being replaced by the EN 60728 series) of standards that form the backbone not only for TV and radio signal distribution but also for the current up-to-date information highways. The standards cover also the safety (LVD) and EMC parts.
- HBES: (Home and Building Electronic Systems) performed by CLC/TC 205 and its SC 205A. The work initially concentrated on an information bus for the home but the work had been extended to the so called "SmartHouse" i.e. all integrated information exchange within the residential environment and its interface to intelligent networks. The standards cover also safety (LVD) and EMC parts.
- Remote electricity metering covered by the activities of CLC/TC 13.
- Interfacing of household appliances, a project triggered by CENELEC's Cooperating Partner CECED and being performed by CLC/TC 59X.
Furthermore CENELEC is an important stakeholder of the ICT Standard Board (www.ictsb.org) as CENELEC is one of the 3 initiators of the project. The ICTSB has the mission to coordinate specific activities in the ICT field.
In 2008 CEN and CENELEC have joined forces to address ICT standardization activities. Following a recommendation of the CEN/CENELEC Ad Hoc Group on ICT (i.e. the group in charge of the implementation of the CEN/CENELEC Policy and Strategy), the CEN/ISSS Forum was converted into a CEN-CENELEC ICT Forum.
The CEN-CENELEC ICT Forum's role is advisory, but the collaborative effort ensures greater transparency and better handling of European standards needs.
For more information on the CEN-CENELEC ICT Forum, please visit this webpage.
CENELEC's ICT activities can be subdivided through the following key concepts:
- Homegrown work:
- CLC/SC 9XA "Electrical and electronic applications for railways - Communication, signaling and processing systems"
- CLC/TC 13 "Equipment for electrical energy measurement and load control"
- CLC/TC 59X "Performance of household and similar electrical appliances"
- CLC/TC 65CX "Fieldbus"
- CLC/TC 79 "Alarm systems"
- CLC/TC 100X “Audio, video and multimedia systems and equipment and related sub-systems”
- CLC/TC 205 "Home and Building Electronic Systems (HBES)"
- CLC/SC 205A "Mains communicating systems"
- CLC/TC 209 "Cable networks for television signals, sound signals and interactive services"
- CLC/TC 215 "Electrotechnical aspects of telecommunication equipment"
- CLC/TC 46X "Communication cables"
- CLC/TC 86A "Optical fibres and optical fibre cables"
- CLC/TC 86BXA "Fibre optic interconnect, passive and connectorised components"
- IEC driven:
- CENELEC is respecting the provisions of its Cooperation Agreement with IEC that induces the fact that ICT (performance) standards are taken over through the mechanism of the Dresden Agreement, e.g. IEC/TC 100 "audio, video and multimedia systems equipment", IEC/TC 57 "Power systems and associated information exchange" and IEC/TC 65 "Industrial-process measurement, control and automation".
- Safety and EMC
- And last - but certainly not least - CENELEC is dealing with safety and EMC requirements for ICT products and systems. The work is either covered by the dedicated work programmes referred above or reflected in the activities of - mainly - CLC/TC 108X "Safety of ICT equipment" and CLC/TC 210 "EMC".